If Newt Gingrich were backpedaling any faster on climate change, he might actually come full circle and turn into Al Gore. But what can the man do? He’s totally damaged his right-wing reputation by believing in science and giving a crap about the future survival of anything. What Republican can run with the hideous heart of environmentalism beating under his floorboards?

That scene on the love seat with Nancy Pelosi was bad enough. Now it turns out Gingrich — or at least his co-editor — was planning to include a whole chapter on climate change in a new book about the environment. The author of the chapter was to be Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech, who recently wrote a book about Christianity and climate change, and who is probably the only atmospheric scientist whose name appears in a Ramones song. (Give it time, you’ll get it.)

But Rush Limbaugh got wind of the chapter and, predicatably, got his panties in a wad, and when a fan approached Newt at a recent campaign event and inquired about the chapter, he replied, “That’s not going to be in the book. We didn’t know that they were doing that and we told them to kill it.”

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Killing the chapter was news to Hayhoe, who has exactly the views on climate change you’d expect an atmospheric scientist to have. She laid them out in an interview with writer Jonathan Merritt: “It is primarily laypeople, such as talk-show hosts, or those with vested interests in maintaining the status quo, who are perpetuating the idea that there is no scientific consensus [on climate change].” Talk-show hosts! Oh snap.

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